Everyone always talks about recipes and cooking tips for Thanksgiving, but what about taking care of the things outside of the food? It’s easy to get focused on the food because that is the main event, but even the best main events have incredible sideshows that make the whole experience more memorable. This year, let other blogs tell you all about making the perfect turkey or stuffing or pie and we will focus on the nuts and bolts that make an average Thanksgiving dinner into something truly spectacular: The table setting. 

Getting The Lay Of The Land

Setting a table for a large family gathering is no easy task. If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to be hosting this year, you will need to figure out how you can comfortably seat each guest and ensure that you have enough silverware and serving utensils for them to be able to enjoy the meal in comfort. 

  • Count the number of guests and add a few spares for good measure.
  • Make sure you have enough forks, spoons, knives, plates, bowls, and glasses for each guest, with extras on top of that.
  • Make sure you have enough chairs and that those chairs can sit a guest comfortably around the table space you have. If you are going to need multiple tables, then get them both set up and do a practice run with the chairs around them. 
  • Set aside an area in the dining room or kitchen as your staging area. This is where the prepared food can sit and either rest or wait until it is ready to be served. That helps make sure that your kitchen counter space doesn’t get too crowded. 
  • Don’t be afraid to use plastic utensils and paper or disposable plates! .
  • Spend extra time on the center piece. Make it unique and something your guests will be talking about!

The Setup

Once you have a good count of the utensils you will need, go ahead and set the table well ahead of time. This can even be done the night before so that you can wake up to that already being done on the big day. This can also help impress guests a little bit to have them walk into a dining area that has been set up and is ready for them to enjoy. Make sure that you have about double or triple the amount of beverage glasses per guest as they tend to get used and forgotten or used for several beverages throughout the day. 

The Payoff

Getting your table taken care of well before you are engrossed with the food preparation can give you peace of mind and help de-stress you while you are preparing the rest of the feast. Don’t forget to delegate as well, whenever possible! Have your in-laws or kids get the table set up and looking good while you concentrate on the food prep. If you played your cards right, then you should have everything you need and your guests will too!

However you decide to celebrate your holiday season, make sure that you are able to feel good about keeping your house clean and in good order. Have fun and stay safe out there!